Government decides to shut down India’s only Postal Printing Press.
The Central Government has decided to close down the Postal Printing Press in Bhubaneswar. The country’s only printing press under the Department of Posts has raised apprehensions in the minds of hundreds of employees associated with the Press. During a meeting of committee of secretaries on April 27 in New Delhi, it was decided to close shop with a notice already been sent to the CPMG (Chief Post Master General) of the Odisha Postal Circle on May 9. The authorities directed the department officials in Bhubaneswar not to purchase papers and other items required for printing. They have also asked to send the documents and data of all the employees working at the press to the Centre for rehabilitation.
The decision drew sharp criticism from various bodies including the employees’ union of the printing press, postal officials and others associated with it. The employees’ association of the printing press protested the decision by taking to the streets and urged the state government to intervene in the matter.
With the danger of closing of the unit looming large, people directly and indirectly associated with the press – ink, paper, adhesive, waste cotton and other materials suppliers – are very nervous about the outcome.
“With the decision to close down the press, our future is uncertain and we don’t know what we will do if it (the decision) is implemented,” says an old employee associated with the closing press.
The postal printing press was built in an area of four acre land allotted by Odisha government through IDCO at Mancheswar Industrial Estate in 1987. Initially, the press was functional with 230 employees. The number of employees is now 146 following transfer and retirement of the staff subsequently.
The press has been printing various products for the postal department like forms, passbooks, account books and other such items. The press houses advanced machines and equipment and skilled staff. There are four printing machines which however meet a part of the department’s printing requirement across the country.
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